American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story Paperback – Unabridged, 4 Feb 2005
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"True neatly describes, in this peculiarly American tale, the inbred atmosphere of the counter-culture comedy world." -- Kirkus Reviews
The highly-acclaimed unauthorised biography of cult anti-hero comedian Bill Hicks. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
To me, the book is a disappointment because it relies on the word of casual friends and "co-workers" and (seemingly) bootlegged recordings transcribed in part to form a narrative journey through Hick's life. There is not a great deal of information contained within this book that the average fan doesnt already know via the wealth of articles available online or from John Lahr's profile prior to Bill's death.
The book is undoubtably a fanboy(girl)'s unashamed gushing about someone she admires. Theres nothing really wrong with that but it still feels a tad empty for me as a Hicks' fan that finally something related to Hicks is released and its less than satisfactory way to celebrate the life of one of the greatest entertainers of the past 50 years (who sounds like the fanboy now?). While you do get a somewhat limited insight into certain aspects of Bill's persona that you wouldnt normally get, at the end of the day only the die hard fans will rush out and buy it and... they'd know most of the story anyway.
I, for one, hope Kevin Booth will eventually come through with THE definitive epitath to the life of Bill Hicks - And Im sure he will. Someday.
So i advise you to read it, but dont expect much from it. I would rather have had the writer to be Hicks himself (sadly impossible) or even someone close to him, or with similar feelings about the downfall of the world. This woman seems to have no geographical knowledge of the world outside America, often referring to Glasgow and Edinburgh as being in England. Her ignorance for these facts im sure Hicks would have been very annoyed with if he were alive today. But then again, if Hicks were alive today, he would probably be ruling the world and we wouldnt need some anonymous writer writing about him, the world would KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT HIM.
Really, this book has been such a frustrating and looooooong time coming considering Bill's ever increasing (and fully justified) cult status. It's really quite surprising that no one has put pen to paper before now; but a big pat on the back to True for making the effort and doing a pretty good job.
This is actually a pretty straight forward, but extremely interesting biography, and it manages to detail Bill's life as well as it can without any imput from the man himself (obviously). True relys on the stories and accounts from Bill's friends and colleagues, and the anecdotes are delievered with just the kind of affection and admiration you would expect. For those of us who only really caught onto Bill after his death the details about his early years, and how he broke into stand-up will be particularly interesting.
Is the definitive account of Bill? I hope not, there is a lot more out there and hopefully one day it will be available to us all, but this is a essential contribution to the, unfortunately, pretty small canon of work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everything you ever wanted to know about Bill Hicks - get this, and all of the rest of his work, do it now!Published on 22 Feb. 2013 by Ms Elizabeth M Lewis
A brilliant look into the life of the greatest comedian of all time. Gets two thumbs up and more if I had them.Published on 13 Nov. 2011 by Tri_dith
The story of Bill Hicks, like his idols JFK & Martin Luther King, is familiar to most people who've heard of him - a brilliant talent, on the verge of success, cut tragically short... Read morePublished on 5 Nov. 2010 by Magic Lemur
Also check out Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky and The Sane Society by Erich Fromm to understand where Hicks got alot of his political/societal opinion from and hope for a... Read morePublished on 15 Mar. 2010 by Swampy
Being a huge Bill Hicks fan and thinking he is the best stand up comedian ive ever come across, i thought that buying a biographic book about him, could tell me the other side of... Read morePublished on 25 Feb. 2008 by KottonMouth King
Having loved Bill Hicks for some time I decided to read this book and was not disappointed. There is a depth to Bill's life that you see from the topics of his comedy but that gets... Read morePublished on 1 Jun. 2006 by Spider Monkey
If you were lucky enough to see Bill Hicks on one of the few occassions he visited Britain, or if like me, you discovered his comedy on CD after he died, this book will illustrate... Read morePublished on 23 Feb. 2005 by Mr David R Madge
I am a big fan of Bill Hicks and I was interested to learn more about him. This book did not help. This is a rather dull biography providing a largely chronological account of... Read morePublished on 14 Feb. 2005 by John E. Davidson
This is an insight into the world of the master of comedy that'll set your head free from the mind numbing anti-comedic efforts from todays so-called kings of comedy. Read morePublished on 18 Jan. 2005